Monthly Archives: July 2010

When The Living Is Easy

I’m in my Nike workout clothes, but I’m not in the “Just Do It” state of mind.  I’m dreading today’s workout.  I think it’s going to be a bit challenging.  You see it’s time for me to increase the incline and resistance on my elliptical walker.  After weeks of doing the same routine and working out at the same intensity level, I hit a plateau in my fitness quest.

I work out three to four days a week, and I put in at least 30 minutes on my elliptical walker each workout.  The time, energy and effort paid off.  I’m much more toned and physically fit.  When I started my workout program three and a half months ago I was twelve pounds heavier and could only do 15 minutes on my elliptical walker at the lowest settings.  I’m pleased with my progress, but I still have a few more pounds and inches to lose.

Sometimes in life as in a workout routine we hit a place where everything seems to flow without much effort or energy on our part.  The living is easy and we get comfortable.  If we are not careful we get too comfortable and it becomes difficult to move beyond where we are even when we know that our current routine will not get us where we want to be.  Unfortunately for me, I don’t enjoy working out, so I would be content to stay in my present workout comfort zone.  But the reality is that I to have move beyond what has become somewhat of a leisurely stroll on my elliptical walker if I want to reach my fitness goals.  I may not enjoy the additional challenge of kicking up my workout, but I know that I will be pleased with the results that show on my body and in my health.

What comfort zone are you in?  Are you delaying a goal or saying no to a new opportunity just to stay with what you know?  Whether it’s a career change, a new relationship, or a different workout routine, many of us opt to continue with the status quo because it’s easy even if what we’re doing will not get us to where we want to be.  We can come up with plenty of reasons for staying where we are.  “Now is not the right time.  I don’t have enough money, education, experience…” The list of why we cannot or should not do something is endless.

But rather than focusing on the ‘why nots’ lets look at the ‘what ifs’.  What if we step out and do something new?  We may find that the living is easier in our new place and that staying in our comfort zone may be doing us more harm than good.  Not all change is easy or right for us, but sometimes change is necessary if we want to do something that we’ve never done before.  Life is about growth and growth brings change.  So lets venture outside of our comfort zone and change it up!

“Insanity:  Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein

A Language Lesson

I’m one of those people who loves language.  I dream of speaking an endless array of languages with ease and precision.  However, my current reality is that I’m fluent in English and proficient in Spanish.  Several months ago I decided to revive my language acquisition project.  Next I had to determine whether I would focus on increasing my Spanish proficiency to fluency, or start learning a new language.  After some deliberation I concluded that I was comfortable enough with my command of Spanish to continue to study it while starting another language.  I decided to add French to the mix.

I devised a plan and started my quest to learn French.  I signed up for eight weeks of a beginner’s French class at the local branch of Alliance Francaise.  The class met once a week for three hours.  I planned to supplement what I learned in class by doing additional reading and listening to tapes.  I showed up for class.  What I did not do was to put in the time outside of the classroom.  I’m not new to learning a foreign language, so I know that a few hours in a classroom once a week is not sufficient for most of us to acquire even a basic command of a language.    Needless to say I did not achieve the mastery of French that I wanted.  I left the last class of the term disappointed with my results.  I could say “oui” and “s’il vous plait” by the end of the eight weeks, but I could do that before I started the classes.  All I could do was to chalk the experience up as an experiment that I did not need to repeat.

The morning after my last class I pondered if I would continue to pursue French or focus solely on Spanish.  I wondered if I was willing to put in the time, energy and effort required to learn a new language.  I was not impressed with my command of French at that moment.  Then it hit me.  I realized that during the last class I understood most of what the instructor said even though it was all in French.  I even spoke basic phrases in French as part of the class conversation.  I learned more than I thought I did.  My brain re-wired itself to accommodate my language learning efforts without me noticing.

Sometimes change comes that way, without us noticing it in the beginning.  We do small things that don’t seem to make a difference.  Then one day we look up and we have moved closer to where we want to be without realizing it.  Change does not only come in leaps and bounds or huge strides.  Small steps are often easier for us to take and sometimes more likely to get us to our goal.

By the way, I’m sticking with French.  Despite my lack of discipline during the beginner’s class I made progress toward something that I have wanted to do for a long time.  With a bit of focus and effort I will speak French.

Au revoir

The Eyes Have It

Welcome.  After months of thinking and planning I’m happy to launch Through Her Eyes Blog (“THE Blog”).  THE Blog is dedicated to the idea that what we see and how we see something depends on the eyes that we look through.  More specifically THE Blog explores the power of perspective and the art of change–how we view, pursue and deal with life.

I plan to post at least once a week, usually on Tuesdays.  The topics that could come under the categories of perspective and change are too numerous to try to list, but my goal is that most of what I present will be related to some facet of  perspective or change.  In general I will write about the experiences, observations and thoughts that I make as I look at, deal with and live life. That said, I’m sure that a few of my favorite topics, travel, food, books, writing, and language, will show up in THE Blog with some regularity.

Stay tuned.  More to come.